Adopting a pet is a serious decision that must be taken with great care, as the love of an animal is not disposable but unconditional.
As long as I can remember I have always had a dog, stray or breed. In my family we like to adopt; we have already collected those who were abandoned in the streets, other times we have taken puppies from friends and even from animal shelters.
I have wonderful memories of each one of them, with their unique personalities and exceptional ways of showing love. They have always been treated like family members, as they should be.
Adopting a pet goes far beyond removing it from the street and providing shelter, you have to give them a home, which means space, comfort, food, medical care, affection and attention. Taking care of them can be expensive and because of that it is a very serious decision. Since it will affect your pocket and your routine for many years, it is necessary to prepare yourself as it will be in your hands, or in your family’s, the responsibility of taking care of a life.
According to the Shelter Animals Count website, each year approximately 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters in the U.S., 3.2 million are adopted and another 1.5 million are euthanized.
An alarming number that could be reduced if the person knew the responsibility of adopting a “paws’ friend”. This situation occurs in dozens of other countries around the world.
Danilo Manha, president of the Vidanimal Association, warns about the responsibilities of those who adopt a pet in Brazil: “Anyone who wants to adopt a pet should look for the Zoonozes Control Center of the city halls or the NGOs that mediate the adoption. The animals are spayed and microchipped. When adopting an animal the person becomes legally responsible for it and abandonment is a crime.”
Open your heart to a new member in your family, but be aware of all the responsibilities.
Below there is a list of what is important to consider before, during and after adopting a pet; it was prepared by Danilo Manha, president of the Vidanimal AVA Association, he has been active in animal protection in Brazil for 15 years and is the co-author of the Law 12916 / 2008 which prohibits the killing in the “dog carts” of the State of São Paulo.
Open your heart and consciously adopt:
- When choosing your new friend, take into account his temper and see if he will adapt to your home;
- Avoid an animal with a lot of energy if you live in an apartment, for example. In the case of puppies, you may need patience to educate them;
- Adopt an animal that has already been neutered, or you commit to neutering it as soon as it reaches its age. This is very, VERY important! After all, a non-neutered kitten or puppy can generate through its descendants hundreds of animals that will not have a home;
- Keep in mind that you will need money not only for food and vaccines, but you can also spend money on treatment for any health problems;
- Like people, an animal can also become sick or old. That is when they will need your attention and care the most;
- Dogs and cats can live 15 years or more and you will be responsible for taking care of him for that long;
- All residents of the house must agree to the adoption. This helps to prevent your friend from being mistreated or even abandoned;
- Animals are not toys. They have feelings and need constant care and attention. If you are not willing to be patient and devote much of your time to it, buy a stuffed animal;
- If you spend a lot of time away from home, how about adopting two? The job is almost the same, and it has the advantage that they keep each other company in your absence;
- NEVER abandon an animal. Both dogs and cats get attached to their owners, and often go into deep depression when they are rejected.